Day: January 11, 2022

Governor Murphy Reinstates Public Health Emergency to Respond to Omicron Variant of COVID-19

January 11, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) – Governor Phil Murphy today reinstated a Public Health Emergency, effective immediately, in order to ensure that the State is able to respond to the continued threat of COVID-19 and the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. Executive Order No. 280 declares a Public Health Emergency and restates the existing State of Emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey, allowing state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to assist the State’s healthcare system and affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases. Executive Order No. 281 continues Executive Orders Nos. 111, 112, and 207, allows Executive Orders Nos. 251, 252, 253, 264, and 271 to remain in effect, and extends various regulatory actions taken by the departments in response to COVID-19.

“COVID-19 remains a significant threat to our State and we must commit every resource available to beating back the wave caused by the Omicron variant,” said Governor Murphy. “While we hope to return to a state of normalcy as soon as possible, the step I am taking today is a commonsense measure that will protect the safety and well-being of all New Jersey residents while allowing state government to respond to the continuing threat that COVID-19 poses to our daily lives.”

The Public Health Emergency will allow the state to continue vaccine distribution, vaccination or testing requirements in certain settings, the collection of COVID-19 data, implementation of any applicable recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent or limit the transmission of COVID-19, staffing and resource allocation, and other critical components of the State’s COVID-19 response. The new Public Health Emergency will allow for existing orders requiring masking in school and daycare settings to remain in effect.

Governor Murphy’s public health emergency declaration also empowers all State agencies to take all appropriate steps to continue to address the public health hazard resulting from new variants of COVID-19.  

Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, the Public Health Emergency will expire after 30 days, unless renewed. State COVID-19 metrics will be re-evaluated at the time of expiration to determine if an extension will be needed. 

For a video message from Governor Murphy on the Public Health Emergency, please click here

For a copy of Executive Order No. 280, please click here.

For a copy of Executive Order No. 281, please click here.

For the past two years our lives have been upended by this global pandemic. 

Our health care system has been stretched to the limit by variant after variant.

We’ve been forced to change the way we celebrate and gather with our families. 

And the virus altered the trajectory of our economy. 

As I stand here today, we are registering nearly 35,000 new cases a day. In the past two weeks alone, more than 10,000 of our fellow New Jerseyans have required hospitalization due to COVID. 

And though these numbers are a stark reminder of the seriousness of this moment in our history, I have a strong sense of optimism that we are moving forward in defeating this virus. 

Even today, the vast majority of our schools are open. 

We have recovered 70 percent of the jobs lost due to the pandemic.

Our children are back on playgrounds, back in the gym, and back on the ice.

And the vaccines mean we have the tools necessary to finally put this virus behind us … 

The tools required to maintain our best-in-class testing infrastructure and vaccine distribution … 

The tools necessary to keep our kids safe in and out of school … 

The tools necessary to protect our hospital networks and healthcare workers.

These tools all stem from the Public Health Emergency declaration that we made at the pandemic’s start, and which prepared us to carry on through its various heights. 

We have come so far, and we cannot stop now.

Therefore, in consultation with the Legislature, I have taken the necessary step of re-declaring a Public Health Emergency to ensure we keep moving forward in our response against COVID – and so we can put this virus behind us.

I am certain that there are some who are going to do their best to continue to spread misinformation about what this means.

So, I want you to hear it from me. 

This is what this does not mean.

It does not mean any new universal mandates or passports. 

It does not mean lockdowns.

It does not mean any business restrictions or gathering limits.

It does not mean going backward from any of the progress we’ve made together over the past 22 months.

In fact, in your day-to-day life, this step won’t have any new impact at all.

What it does mean is that we can continue moving forward with our coordinated and responsible approach to putting Omicron and COVID behind us.

It means keeping our schools, businesses, and communities open. 

It means we’ll be able to move vaccination and testing resources more easily to the places they need to be and to the residents who need them.

It means that right now – with record-high new cases because of Omicron and more people in our hospitals than at any point since the Spring of 2020 – our hospitals and health-care system will have every tool at their disposal to ensure the best care possible for everyone who needs it.

And, critically, it will mean we continue to stand on a firm base of science and facts, and not politics and conspiracies, to keep your family and your community safe by getting ahead of Omicron and staying there.

This step means getting our state moving to a real and lasting sense of normal.

A little more than a month ago, just as we thought we had finally gotten ahead of COVID, the Omicron variant came along. 

And while Omicron is doing its best to stop us in our tracks and push us back, we’re not going to let it. 

Look, we’ve been together in this fight for nearly two years. And I know you’re all frustrated. I know you’re tired. I know you want nothing more than to get back to normal. Well, so do I.

But together, we’re going to be keep pushing forward – together and we’re going to beat this thing.

So, keep doing everything you’ve been doing. Get vaccinated. Get boosted. Keep masking up. 

And keep moving forward.

Thank you. Happy new year. And God bless you all. 

Update: NJ Transit Moves to Improve Trenton Transit Center

Platform & Canopy Improvements and New Accessible High-Level Platform Will Enhance Safety and the Customer Experience at Vital Transit Hub

Related MidJersey.News story here from October 23, 2020:

January 11, 2021

NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors yesterday, January 10, 2022, approved a contract for full design services and construction support services for canopy, platform, and accessibility enhancements at the Trenton Transit Center. The contract is part of a $29 million effort to rehabilitate two existing platforms, and their associated canopies, elevators, and escalators, as well as to convert a low-level platform into a fully accessible high-level platform with elevator access.  The project will promote increased customer safety and convenience, increase capacity, reduce maintenance costs, and mitigate congestion on platforms.

“NJ TRANSIT is pleased to be advancing significant improvements at one of our state’s most essential multi-modal transit hubs,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “Ultimately, this project will create a safer, more modern, and more accessible Trenton Transit Center – with additional capacity and convenience for the thousands of customers who use it every day.”

In today’s action, the Board of Directors awarded a $1.9 million contract to AECOM Technical Services, Inc. for all design and construction support phases of this project.

The scope of work on the two island platforms will include the replacement of existing deteriorating wooden platform sections with a more durable concrete platform, the addition of new tactile strips and rub rails, the reconstruction of platform deck joints, and the repair of concrete spalls. Deteriorating canopies that were last reconstructed in 1992 will also be restored. The existing low-level platform will be upgraded to a high-level platform with a larger waiting shelter and a new elevator from the concourse above. In the past, NJ TRANSIT had upgraded the main station entrances and pedestrian overpass at the Trenton Transit Center. 

NJ TRANSIT was chosen as one of only 11 other transportation agencies in the nation to receive a competitive Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) State of Good Repair Grant that will be used in part to fund this project. The $18.2 million grant represents the federal share of the nearly $29 million total infrastructure improvement project.

A station has existed at the site since 1863.  New stations have been built to replace old, outdated ones several times through the course of history; in 1893, 1976, and most recently by NJ TRANSIT in 2008 when new station buildings were built on the north and south sides of the tracks including a new passenger concourse over the tracks connecting the two.


NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines, and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops link

Governor Murphy Applauds Confirmation of Seven Superior Court Judges

Confirmations Further Murphy Administration’s Commitment to Filling Judicial Vacancies

January 11, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)– Governor Murphy today applauded the confirmation of seven Superior Court judges. The Senate yesterday confirmed Joanne Cocchiola, Lori Grifa, MeLinda Hawkins Taylor, Heather V. Taylor, Linda Hynes, Jill S. Mayer, and Aldo Russo tothe Essex, Burlington, and Camden vicinages.

“This highly-qualified group of judges will make substantial contributions to our state’s judiciary for decades to come,” said Governor Murphy. “Since the beginning of our Administration, we have responded to vacancies in the courts with 116 nominations, of which 81 have been confirmed. I look forward to continuing to make progress on nominations to the Superior Court.   

“I am especially honored that the Chief Ethics Officer in the Governor’s Office, Heather Taylor, was confirmed as a Superior Court judge today,” continued Governor Murphy. “Heather has served two gubernatorial administrations with an unwavering sense of integrity since 2014, and while I am sad to see her leave our Administration, I know that she will serve our state well in her new capacity.”